Donald Trump, who launched his campaign by claiming Mexicans are rapists and has the official endorsements of a number of neo-Nazi groups, is suddenly concerned that America is racially divided.
The Republican candidate, who in 1991 told a colleague that black people are inherently “lazy” and said he couldn’t trust them around his money, spoke to reporters on Monday and – with a straight face – proposed that it was actually President Obama, America’s first black president, who is making racism worse.
A bigger problem than people understand,” Trump said, when asked about the scope of the problem of racism in America. “I think it’s far bigger than President Obama wants to admit. I mean he doesn’t want to admit it. It’s taking place during his administration. I mean, when you have 11 cities absolutely ready to blow up over the last three or four days. And it could very well get worse.
This from a man who once claimed to have spent millions of dollars of his own money digging up “evidence” that Obama was born in Kenya – evidence that strangely never materialized.
It should be noted that while many Republicans spent the aftermath of the murder of two black men at the hands of police officers lecturing black people about how to be “respectful” to law enforcement (or in Rudy Giuliani’s case, telling black kids that other black kids will likely kill them), President Obama recognized the need for a movement like Black Lives Matter and spoke movingly about the racial tensions currently boiling over.
Like many Republicans, Trump is intentionally mistaking the symptom for the cause. While there has certainly been more strain between white Americans and people of color in the last decade, much of that is due to the fact that many of America’s racists have gone nuclear after President Obama’s election. Racist imagery and rhetoric has spread throughout the Republican Party and firmly embedded itself in conservative “populist” movements like that of the Tea Party – and Trump’s campaign.
Thankfully, black Americans are supremely aware of when they are being condescended to. Despite Trump’s insistence that he is “great for the blacks,” polls consistently show that African Americans hate Trump almost universally. In one of the latest polls from Quinnipiac, Clinton leads Trump with black voters by an astonishing margin of 93-4. Four!
If Trump wanted the support of the African American community, maybe he should have thought twice about relentlessly pushing racist birther narratives to stir up right-wing fanatics.
Featured image via Mark Wilson/Getty Images